McCain on Meet the Press

by Steve on January 6, 2008

Did you happen to catch Tim’s interview with John McCain this morning? I’ll have to admit I came away from that thinking “Well, he might do…” He wasn’t the bumbling McCain that I remembered – he was logical, engaging, and for the most part avoided political doublespeak. When Tim attempted to pin him down on a timetable for Iraq, McCain correctly stated we’re still in Japan, Germany, Korea, and Kuwait – why should we expect Iraq to suddenly and miraculously stabilize itself. We will most likely have a long-term presence in Iraq. His goal is to reduce the casualty rate ultimately to zero, to replace our soldiers doing the fighting with Iraqis, and to secure an ally in the fight against Al Qaeda.

Senator McCain knows the horrors of war on a very personal level, having been a long-term guest at the Hanoi Hilton. He will not casually risk lives nor will he pass up the opportunity to take out high value targets on the world’s most wanted list as Clinton did.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not sold on the man yet. There are a few things that still bring questions regarding his fitness to lead this country. One is his age. If elected he would be the oldest president, beating Reagan’s mark by a few years. If elected for a second term he would see his 80th birthday while still in office. He claims he’s in good physical and mental health but I’d still need to see a very strong, capable running-mate just in case. The other detracting factor could be collectively referred to as lack of direction as a young man. Something my own father probably applied to me from time to time so I have to be careful here but then again I’m not the one seeking the oval office. McCain was self-admittedly a poor student and somewhat of a trouble-maker. He got accepted to the Naval Academy (father and grandfather were Admirals) and graduated nearly at the bottom of his class. His early career as an Officer and pilot were rather unremarkable except for his habit of crashing planes. After returning from captivity in Viet Nam he met and started dating his second wife before leaving and divorcing his first.

He’s still got a long way to go but I am watching more closely.

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